Fire under control

Power station fire Photo: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

After a long day of firefighting that involved around 120 firefighters, the blaze at Tilbury power station is now under control.

The fire broke out in a fuel storage area, with crews being called from right across Essex to deal with it.

Chief Fire Officer David Johnson, who is the Incident Commander for this operation, has described it as one of the most challenging fires he has hadto deal with in his twenty year career. It proved so difficult because of the nature of the fire.

The fuel cells that were set alight are designed to carry dry fuel. As a result pouring water on them added so much weight to the cells that officers were worried this could damage the structure of the building. What's more once the cells had been dried by fire a crust developed which meant it was impossible for water to get to the other lit cells. Therefore the Fire Service had to use foam to tackle the blaze. This also meant that it took a long time for it to be safe enough for crews to enter the building.

Fire officers had to go up in the Essex police helicopter in the hope that aerial views of the site would help them find where best to fight the flames.

The Fire Service say it will take two days to clear up the area where the fire started.

Discussing tactics Credit: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service